We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Louisville Lacrosse wins at Cincinnati

Liz Lovejoy scored four goals for the University of Louisville women's lacrosse team Tuesday at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Hard to imagine anything but football being played in the venerable old facility...but the Cards road trip continues on with their first Big East win.

Louisville (5-3, 1-1) prevailed over the Bearcats 13-9 in a tough, defensive battle. The Cards struck early, scoring the first five points in the game but had to weather a late Bearcat first half rally which pulled them within four at halftime 9-5.

The teams traded goals in the second half, Cincinnati striking first to pull within three...but Lovejoy returned the favor with her third score and the Cards were able to hold onto the lead the rest of the way for the win.

The road trip continues for Louisville, playing April 2nd at Old Dominion and April 4th at Longwood. Phone home, Lady home!


Add Sara Hammond to the list of possible recruits for Jeff Walz's 2011 Lady Cards basketball newbies. The 6'1" junior from Rockcastle County has Louisville, along with Kentucky, Vandy and WKU on her current list of schools to consider playing for in college. Although Sara isn't ready to make a decision until going thru off season AAU ball, she did recently comment that the Louisville staff was in constant contact with her and that Walz and the Cards were "close as anybody" and that they have been "so welcoming to me."

Hammond put up impressive numbers during her junior year...averaging 15 points and 10.8 rebounds. She also blocked 120 shots. Her Rockcastle County team won the 15th region and battled to the semifinals of the girls Sweet Sixteen KHSAA tournament.


We were wrong about UConn in yesterday's column...thinking the Huskies would beat Fla. State by 20-30 points. They put a 90-50 thumping on the Noles. Both Maya Moore and Tina Charles have been voted on the All-American team. They advance easily to the Final Four...facing 6'8" Brittany Griner and Baylor on Sunday. Maybe Geno's Huskies should have to play with a spotting the opponents 20 points or being forced to wear scuba gear and oven mitts while playing. Probably wouldn't matter.

The season ends for Matthew Mitchell's UK Lady Cats after falling to Oklahoma last night 88-68 in Kansas City. Early on, it looked like the Cats were going to coast to a lopsided win...leading the Sooners 12-1 and 17-4. The defensive pressure was rolling for Kentucky and Victoria Dunlap and crew were scoring at will on Sherri Coale's squad.

Momentum changes sometimes, though. Oklahoma composed themselves, figured out how to beat the UK press and started doing the one thing that wins basketball games...going to the hoop and scoring. The Sooners rallied to take the lead at 28-25 on a Danielle Robinson basket plus one and carried a 43-39 halftime lead into the locker room. Oklahoma came out huge to being the second half with a 26-5 run to take control of the game in the first fifteen minutes and lead 69-50. Quick as lightning guard Nyeshia Stevenson led the Sooners with 31 points. The Cats couldn't find the hoop in the second half...shooting 18% in the final twenty minutes.


Remember, tomorrow is April Fools Day. Don't believe everything you hear out there Thursday. One of our favorite gags still involves posting a parody several years ago on another site that had Rick Pitino and ex-UofL women's basketball coach Tom Collen deciding to swap jobs. That site is no longer in existance...we don't think we had anything to do with it shutting down...but we got a lot of comments (both good and bad) about the parody. Some people just have no sense of humor! This year, we're taking it easy on the readers. Too worried about Paul's impending decision on whether to join the priesthood and move to Alaska or go run with the bulls in Pampalona, Spain.

(pre April Fools!)

Written by Sonja

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Future Lady Card shines in All-Star game.

(Another smaller person whose powers were greatly underestimated. Go get 'em, Polly)

One of the areas where the University of Louisville women's basketball team had difficulties this past season was finding a scorer to augment Monique Reid's efforts. A combination of injuries and inexperience hobbled the Cards at times in offensive execution. If incoming freshman Polly Harrington's performance in the
Midwest All-Star Classic is any indication of the future, Louisville has at least one player on the way that will help solve that problem.

Harrington was named co-MVP of the game and contributed 18 points for the West Squad.
Harrington, a 6'0" power forward from Kansas City, may seem smallish for the position but plays a lot taller than her height. Think of Victoria Dunlap from UK. She has the ability to get to the boards and her strength and aggressiveness allow her to be a force inside. She's had to deal with coaches trying to switch her to guard because of her height but her game is best served when she is inside and creating on both ends of the court.

Antonia Slaughter, another UofL signee, played for the winning East squad in the game and picked up eight points and six boards. We like Slaughter's all over the court hustle and intensity. She'll be a force for the Cards and at 6'2' a rebounding asset.


Speaking of all star games, isn't it time the Derby Classic folks woke up and brought in a girls' Classic game for the weekend? There is a ton of women's talent in this area and too few girls' All-Star games offered to the deserving players out there.

The game could be played before the boys' game on Saturday...or it could follow the Night of the Future Stars on Friday. I'm sure the attendees wouldn't mind being moved for the competition to the downtown arena for both of the 2 days.

Time to get the upgrade here and make this local event a "must play" for the best male and female high school players. And, while you're at it, do something about those garish coats that the Derby Festival officials wear each year. Strutting around like a peacock in a Rodney Dangerfield type outfit...yeah, we all just love that. Elitism really impresses the majority of us, correct? The sad thing is, they think they look really cool and stylish...but we're all laughing behind your backs when you walk away. Maybe I should break out my old leisure suits and polyester, flowered shirts and pants...Or not.


The Women's Final Four has two teams that have punched their ticket for San Antonio last night and each game was a thriller to the final buzzer. Baylor went on a game ending 10-0 run to defeat Duke in the first contest 61-57. The Bears' freshmen, especially Brittany Griner, upset the apple cart on the veteran Dookies. At 6'8", Griner has changed the way opponents play defense (prayer and triple teams don't even work) and the shot swatting, inside scoring abilities of the towering freshman are just darn fun to watch.

Unless you're playing against her.

The nightcap was just as exciting. A towering Xavier team took it to #1 West seeded Stanford all night long in a see saw battle that went to the final buzzer. Twin towers Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris sent Stanford All-American Jane Appel (anyone else think that she looks like a young Jane Curtin of Saturday Night Live fame?)to the bench before the game ended and Xavier looked to be on the way to springing the upset. Then, the fun really began.

Jeanette Pohlen drove the length of the court with 4.4 seconds remaining and tossed in a layup at the buzzer for the 55-53 win. This followed two misses on two straight plays at the other end, unguarded and under the basket by Xavier's Dee Dee Jernigan that would have given the Muskies the lead. Tough to say that any three plays can be considered the difference between a win and a loss...but Pohlen's mad dash to the hoop for the win and the two blown opportunities by Jernigan were game changers.

UConn plays tonight..expect another 20-30 point walk in the park win for them. UK vs. Oklahoma will be the one to watch as the Cats see if the glass slipper fits in Kansas City.

Written by Paul
3/30/10 (Happy birthday, sis-in-law Anita! Go out to dinner!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

#19 Rowing Cards get five wins in Knoxville

(Jordan Trimble smacked a two run double in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cards a come from behind 5-4 win over DePaul in Ulmer Stadium on Sunday. She also connected for her first home run of the year in the contest.)

The University of Louisville women's rowing crew defeated #17 Dartmouth in two events Saturday and gained three wins over Alabama on Lake Loudon.

"We have some things we must continue to work on as we prepare for our meet against Minnesota and Wisconsin...but I know we'll work the kinks out and make a good showing," Rowing coach Laura Aubrey commented after the contest. The Cards swept the varsity races and only lost with their novice crew...which is contining to improve, according to Aubrey.


Jordan Trimble powered the University of Louisville's softball team to a 5-4 win in Sunday's final of the three game series. A big double in the bottom of the 7th inning, scoring Tesha Paysen and Melissa Roth proved to be the difference for the Cards, who lost the doubleheader Saturday to the Blue Demons. Trimble accounted for three of the Cards RBI's in the game, adding a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to draw the Cards within a run of DePaul at 4-3.

Melissa Roth smashed two solo homers earlier in the contest for Louisville to complete the Cards run total.

Kristen Wadwell (11-7) went the distance for the Cards win. Louisville (21-12)travels to Providence for a three game series starting April 1st.


Were you staying up nights wondering how the Women's Basketball Invitational turned out after Louisville bowed out in the first round to Bradley? Yeah, didn't think so...Just in case you can't live without the championship game result, though...Appalachian State defeated Memphis 79-71 Sunday afternoon in Boone, NC.

The Memphis Tigers led by three at halftime after squandering a 19 point lead early in the game and also surrendered a 7 point lead in the second half to the Mountaineers in the loss.

Former Lady Card Mary Jackson will suit up for the Tigers next year after sitting out her transfer year.


Credit where credit is due to Matthew Mitchell's Lady Cats win a big win over #1 seeded Nebraska yesterday in the NCAA regionals in Kansas City. The Cats, led by the 1-2 scoring punch of A'dia Mathies and Victoria Dunlap advance to face Oklahoma Tuesday night to try and get to Kentucky's first ever Final Four appearance for the women's team.

We figured they were pretty good when they dusted the Lady Cards in Memorial Auditroium this season. And, Dunlap and Mathies both return next year. Seven of the final eight are just playing for second place, one will get within 15 of UConn the rest of the way out.

Michigan State's head women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant's very accurate statement about the Kats after losing to them in Freedom Hall last Monday:

"They're the most physical team we've played in my three years here."

Just ask Keisha Hines or Asia Taylor, who bumped, banged and battled with the aggresive Cats in Lexington. Dunlap was the MVP of the SEC this year and Mathies the Freshman of the Year in the conference. Will Big Blue Nation rally behind the women's that Calipari's Cats are headed home? Except the unexpected out of these overacheivers...they could very well knock off their next opponent...a very talented Oklahoma squad that sent Notre Dame home yesterday.

Sorry, Muffett. No chance to wear the leopard skin scarf on national TV again until November.

Written by Sonja

Sunday, March 28, 2010


(Please note that the article below is strictly a parody and in no way indicates the current status of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Betcha there are a whole lotta unhappy folks around these parts today, though)

Shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday night, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear declared a state wide emergency and called President Barack Obama for National Guard troops, federal emergency aid and mostly to just cry, whine and act like a little drama queen after the University of Kentucky men's basketball team lost in the finals of the NCAA East Regional to those no good, cheating, illiterate West Virginia Hillbillies.

Reports of the final score were disputed statewide, since very few people saw the end of the game...preferring to go either kick their dogs, car fenders, outhouse doors or old oak trees in their yard. State, county and local police reported a dramatic increase of people "just walkin' around all pissed off" and local bootleggers reported a 350% increase in business for Saturday night...according to Barron's. Bars in Lexington and Frankfort were ransacked and looted by disgruntled UK fans but local businessmen report that any beer or liquor inventories with red colors or markings on the container were not affected. Items bottled in West Virginia were pretty much left alone, too.

State government switchboard operators, 911 call centers and crisis intervention hotlines were swamped with distraught and suicidal Wildcats fans immediately after the loss and reports of several individuals jumping from their double wide trailer porches, outhouse roofs and abandonded automobile hoods in apparent suicide attempts were confirmed. A Hickman County man also reported his cow "just plumb keeled over from the shock of it all" after the Kentucky loss.

Several UK students were stopped at the Kentucky/Indiana border by federal officials after a tipster called authorities and informed them of a plot involving several UK fraternity members plans to "drive up to Syracuse and kick Calipari's butt." A candlelight procession was held at midnight on the UK campus near Memorial Auditorium where mourners slowly did the John Wall dance and practiced three point shooting on the outdoor courts near the auditorium. No reported shots were successful.

In Owensboro, KY...several angry UK fans threatened to swim across the Ohio River and "beat up everyone in Indiana" but chilly river temperatures, offers of free mutton barbeque sandwiches and Coast Guard boats lining the river were able to quell the action.

Early into Sunday morning, the distraught sobbing of Wildcat fans could be heard thruout the state and residents of Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia reported torrential floods of tears rolling across the borders and making driving conditions rough on major interstates and highways.

In West Virginia, they're partying like crazed dogs and no one was answering phones in the entire we couldn't get a update. Text and Facebook reports alerted readers about thick clouds of smoke from burning couches in the Morgantown, Charleston and Huntington areas and inpromptu signs and bed sheets were being displayed in windows, yards and on the backs of hogs suggesting that Bobby Huggins be considered for president, governor or a Deity.

" I just don't believe it. I got nothin' to live for's all gone". lamented Caneyville, KY. resident Hoot Percy, as he tied his belongings and wife to his mule and prepared to ride off into the hills. "I knewed we never shoulda hired that Italian Memphis coach." Sentiment was similar in other Kentucky towns as Sunday services were cancelled at many churches. The Archdiocese of Louisville, however, encouraged parishioners to attend services...noting that Catholic colleges Xavier, Notre Dame and Butler were still alive in the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments.

Noted screen actor and UK fan Ashley Judd demonstrated her disappointment with the loss by ripping off her UK sweatshirt in front of a bemused crowd outside a bar in Syracuse, NY. She also asked if anyone had Rick Pitino's phone number and added she wouldn't mind a few "shots of Maker's" right about now. Famed hillbilly singer Billy Ray Cyrus perhaps summed it up best when he slurred "I think it's safe to say that the whole state is suffering from one big ol' achy, breaky heart right now...except for them dadgum UofSmell Tard fans."

UK women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell vowed to "go get some payback" when his Lady Kats face Nebraska in the NCAA regional semifinals Sunday night. Rumors that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins had shaved, donned skirts and wigs and offered to play for Mitchell's team this evening could not be confirmed as we went to press with this story...but a 6'11", very ugly woman was reported being seen this morning in the Kansas City airport asking where the basketball arena was. Rebecca Lobo denied being anywhere near the Kansas City area. Cousins did not answer text or phone attempts to reach him.

Martial law and curfews are expected to remain in effect until Kentucky residents eventually calm down and report back to work and unemployment lines on Monday. A spokesman for WHAS radio in Louisville indicated that the station would "cease and desist from any mention of the UK Men's basketball team on any and all future broadcasts until the situation had cooled down and the late Cawood Ledford, Oscar Combs or Tom Leach can be found and brought in to soothe the Big Blue Nation over the airwaves."

Ledford, who passed away in 2001, had prophetized shortly before his death that a "stranger in expensive suits would once again come to the Bluegrass and wreak havoc upon the land" but most felt the threat had passed when Billy Gillespie left the Kentucky basketball program last year. Plans to dig up Cawood and have him air one last broadcast have run into snags with state and local coroners but it is rumored that the body has been exhumed and Ledford reportedly was recently seen enjoying a cup of coffee and piece of Derby pie with ex-UK coach Joe B. Hall at Wheeler's Drugstore in Lexington. Hall's response to the rumor when questioned was

"Are you crazy, Denny?"

And that comment pretty well sums it up.

Written by Paul (with a little help from my friends)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Softball Cards drop two to DePaul

Not a lot to cheer about in the perfect weather this afternoon at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville drops the first 2-0 to the Blue Demons and then allowed 15 straight runs in the finale before gathering 4 runs later to take the 15-4 beatdown.

Kristen Wadwell took the loss in the first, Tori Collins in the second.

The teams play one tomorrow to close the series.

At least the day got off to a good start with a fun and spirited Easter Egg hunt for the kiddie in Cardinal Park this morning.


Congratulations to trainer Mike Maker who sprung the upset in the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway this afternoon. Longshot Dean's Kitten roared down the stretch to win convincingly over Northern Giant. Odds on favorite Connemara finished third. Cornelio Velasquez rode the winner and Calvin Borel guided Northern Giant to a runner up role. Dean's Kitten, owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey ran sixth in the Breeers Cup Juvenile Turf last fall but made the transition to the polytrack very well this afternoon. He also returned Sonja a very nice profit on her exacta box and Pick 3 today...

Written by Sonja

Friday, March 26, 2010

Does women's college basketball need the 10 second rule?

(The "big guy" (pictured here) is in favor of it. Sonja is not. Today, we get the opinion on the lack of a ten second rule to get the ball over the timelime from a former high school and assistant college women's basketball coach. We have respectfully kept her comments anonymous per her she is looking to be hired soon and doesn't want her comments to possibly go against any type of hiring decision.

The lack of a ten second rule to advance the basketball past center court makes no sense anymore and needs to be changed. Along with it, the NCAA women's rules committee needs to increase the shot clock to 35 seconds like the men's teams have.

There was a time when the women's college basketball game had a jump ball after each made basket. Imagine that today. There were also players who could not go past the half court line since they were designated either offense or defense roles. That rule was changed also. It is now time to get rid of another antiquated rule and this rule is the lack of a ten second clock to advance the ball past half court by the team in possession of the ball.

With the advent of the increased progressional skills of today's college women's basketball player, the ten second rule no longer makes any sense. For years now, women point guards have developed the necessary skills to dribble, cut, switch directions and pass the basketball. The days of frantically holding the ball and waiting for someone to pass it to are gone. The whole point of a full court press by by the defense is seriously undermined also, because the most you can hope for if you are pressing is a turnover. Good defense on the inbounds possession should be rewarded if you are able to prevent your opponent from advancing over the half court line in 10 seconds.

There are certain things that women basketball players don't do as well as their male counterparts. Dunking is one, obviously. Offensive or defensive goal tending isn't a call made very often in the women's game. Dribbling and handling the basketball, though is no longer a skill that women basketball players lack.

How many times have you seen a team dawdle getting the ball over the half court line late in a game and then find themselves faced with only 10 or less seconds to get ther offense in motion? If this team is winning, it does serve as a clock killer but it is also a penalty to the team trying to catch up.

Time to change this antiquated rule and allow good defensive pressure to reap another reward for a team. We teach our young players that guarding an opponent is just as important as being a scorer. An installment ofthe ten second rule would only enforce that philosophy and help teams improve on their transistion games.

There is a popular comic who uses the gag line 'Git 'er done'. It's time for the NCAA rules committee in women's college basketball to follow this comic's advice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Softball Cards romp at IU 11-0

The Cards get the shutout in Bloomington and evened their season record against Big 10 opponents to 3-3.

Midweek softball games on the road, especially if they are just a one game appearance and back home can sometimes be a less than exciting and exhausting up and back trip for the players. Not so yesterday in Bloomington, as the #23 UofL Softball team roared thru the Hoosiers in six innings with a 11-0 trouncing.

As they have done the majority of the season, the Cards jumped on their opponent early. In the top of the first, Melissa Roth opened with a double and moved to 3rd on Vanessa James's single. Roth scored on a Alicia Worly grounder that produced all runners safe and Chelsea Bemis singled to load the bases. Jordan Trimble's double drove in James and Worly and Brittany York's single got Bemis to the plate for the fourth run.

Louisville added 2 in the 4th inning when Jennifer Esteban singled and Roth swatted a homer. The Cards tacked on one more in the 5th. for a 7-0 lead and finished the scoring in the sixth When James, Wolny and Bemis singles filled the bases and back to back doubles by Trimble and York cleared the bases for four more runs and the final total.

Tori Collins (6-2) got the start on the mound for Sandy Pearsall's squad and delivered 4 innings of 1 hit pitching. Kristen Wadwell allowed 2 hits in 2 innings of relief. Louisville banged out 14 hits in the contest and Trimble and York drove in three runs each.

Louisville begins Big East play on Saturday at Ulmer Stadium with a double header against DePaul. First pitch is at noon. The teams will play a third game on Sunday. The Blue Demons are the defending Big East softball champs.

Written by Paul

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cardinal women's golf finishes second in BYU Classic

As spring approaches the Louisville area, a young woman's thoughts drift, of course!

The Cardinal women's golf team, though, has been at it for quite a while this year and recently finished second in the BYU Golf Classic. Daphine Parker finished second overall in the event, just one Stroke off the lead. San Diego State won the event that featured other highly ranked women's golf teams like Nebraska and Fresno State.

Next for the Cards is the Bryan National Collegiate in Brown Summit, NC. beginning April 2nd and then the Big East Tournament at Palm Harbor, FL.


The #19 UofL rowing team defeated Texas in the Longhorn Invitational over the weekend. During the two day event, the Cards went 3 out of 4 in varsity eight matches...also knocking off Kansas State and Oklahoma but losing to Texas.

The rowing Cards are headed to Knoxville next to face Alabama and Dartmouth on March 27th.

Written by Sonja

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adam Neft leaving Afternoon Underdogs

Co-host of the Afternoon Underdogs Adam Neft, pictured on the right, is leaving Louisville and WKRD to pursue a job opportunity in Columbus, Ohio. I swear I had nothing to do with his decision...

The popular and occasionally cantankerous Louisville sports talk host revealed yesterday on the WKRD drive time show Afternoon Underdogs that he will be leaving the show and the Louisville area to accept a job in Columbus, Ohio. Neft has been a driving force on the Louisville airways since his arrival after graduating from Indiana University and helped raise the show to the top of the radio ratings in the Louisville area, a position long dominated by WHAS's Terry Meiners. His off the cuff banter with co-host Tony Vanetti and his devotion to Louisville sports coverage made for informative and sometimes hilarious afternoon radio listening.

Neft also hosted the show Cardinal Insider, an hour long look at Louisville athletics and aired many interviews with the players, coaches and staff of the University of Louisville women's athletic teams. Neft provided candid and revealing interviews with Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz, softball skipper Sandy Pearsall and field hockey's Pam Bustin. He offered an unequalled look and access to the efforts and accomplishment of the UofL women's sports teams...something that will hopefully not disappear with his leaving.

Neft related to me this morning that:

"I'm headed to Columbus, Ohio. It really has more to do with a great opportunity that I felt was a good chance for me to take than anything here. I love it here. I really do. The decision was tough. I won't go into the entire story, but I didn't apply for the job. Heck, I haven't applied for a job in years.

The guy called me, the more we talked the more it sounded like maybe it was worth taking a chance. So I decided at 27 years old, may as well take a shot and go for it! I'm sure they'll replace me with someone better, not that that is too tough a task."

Neft's contributions to Cardinal Athletics will be greatly missed. Tenative plans are for Vanetti to go solo on the show until a replacement for Neft can be found.

I'll miss my e-mail buddy and fall afternoons at the Parrish House won't be the same with out his part in the pregame UofL football shows that he and Vanetti did live there.

Opportunity is what you make out of it, though...and Neft will undoubtably continue the groundbreaking and excellent work that he graced the Louisville airwaves with during his way too short time as a popular and intelligent member of the Louisville sports talk show community. Neft was never prejudiced in his opinions, a Louisville fan but never a blatant "homer" and allowed callers to make their points without overriding them or responding too negatively. Many felt the show would be a suitable replacement for WHAS's evening Sports Talk program with controversial host Lachlan McClain but they have done well in the afternoon drive time slot against one of the most popular radio personalities in the history of Louisville radio in Meiners. Low wattage AM radio isn't exactly the giant of media popularity and probably not too many knew of Neft's work outside the Kentuckiana area but there is no doubt that the Louisville experience will be one that will help spring Neft onto bigger and better things, given the accomplishments and popularity he garnered while here.

Best of luck to you, Matman...and thanks for the hard work, brilliance and contributions. At least you're going to a town that has a university with red colors...

Written by Sonja

Monday, March 22, 2010

UK defeats MSU in Freedom Hall 70-52

Victoria Dunlap dropped 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in the 70-52 UK win. Not bad for someone who wasn't feeling very well. She transfered her illness to Michigan State...who heads home.

It was supposed to be the marquee matchup in the middle. 6'1" Dunlap vs. 6'9" Allyssa DeHaan. The defensive player of the year in the Big Ten against the Cats leading scorer for the season. Michigan State using a size advantage to overcome a quick and ball-hawking UK pressure defense.

It never materialized. Even with Dunlap feeling ill this morning when she woke up, she took the fight to the Spartans and held DeHaan to 4 points and 1 rebound in 19 minutes of play for the tall senior. Back up center Lauren Aitch actually did better for the Spartans but in the end it was too much UK defense, too little Spartan shooting accuracy and a going away win for UK.

Give MSU credit for fighting early, leading by 5 at one point in the first half and staying within four points of UK at halftime. The Cats used an 8-0 run late in the first twenty minutes, front of a pro-UK crowd of 3361 to take the lead for good at 30-28 on a Lydia Watkins layup. The Cats took a 35-31 lead to the locker room and gradually pulled away from MSU in the second half, leading by 20 at one point before finally advancing to the Sweet Sixteen by 18.

Dunlap wasn't alone in securing the Cats' victory. Guard Keyla Snowden added 10 points and A'dia Mathies contributed eight points after sitting the final 7:38 of the first half because of foul trouble. UK used their pressure defense and aggressive rebounding to limit MSU to 34.5% shooting for the game. The Cats dominated the taller Spartans inside with a 36-18 scoring advantage in the paint and a 40-37 edge in rebounding. UK created 14 steals against the Spartans and turned the ball over only 11 times.

For Dunlap, a celebratory Sprite and round of soda crackers. For Freedom Hall, a final look at women's basketball for the foreseeable future. And for UK, a trip to Kansas City on Sunday to face #1 seed Nebraska in the regionals. Not much Cardinal red or Spartan green in the venerable old Hall this evening, but a rowdy blue clad crowd rattled the rafters as their undersized but overacheiving Lady Kats live to play another day. Ironic that the last fight song of the season in Freedom Hall was the UK pep band (much better behaved this evening) playing "On, On UK" and that the Wildcats' cheerleaders and players serenaded the crowd with "My Old Kentucky Home" while standing on the Denny Crum signature on the court.

A special thank you to the NCAA and the kind and helpful organizers and Cardinal staff in Freedom Hall who made it possible and quite enjoyable for CARDINAL COUPLE to report on the event.

Written by Paul

For Merchant, the merchandise is moving well.

Michigan State head women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant faces a tough University of Kentucky hoops squad Monday night at 7:30 in Freedom Hall in the second round of the Women's NCAA Tournament.

Know your foe. During tournament time, it can be a difficult task given the short turnaround time between first and second round games. For Suzy Merchant, it was a trip to the courtside media table after her post game interviews following Michigan State's 72-62 first round win over Bowling Green. Not for face time or congratulatory greetings from fans...along with members of her staff, the popular Spartan coach was scouting the two teams vying to play the Spartans.

What she saw was a UK team that used excellent guard play to pull away from Liberty in the second half and advance to the next round for a match up against Michigan State.

The similarities between Liberty and Michigan State are remarkably similiar. Both teams have imposing front lines. 6'9" MSU center Allyssa DeHaan will tower over UK center Victoria Dunlap. Both MSU and Liberty place a priority in outscoring opponents in the paint and winning the rebounding battle. MSU has a balanced scoring attack and six players scored eight or more points against Bowling Green Saturday.

How will Michigan State succeed where Liberty failed...stopping UK freshman point guard Adia Mathies? Part of the answer may actually come from how well the Spartans can advance the ball against UK's devastating press. UK and Mathies used the defensive pressure to create turnovers and easy baskets for Mathies and her teammates. MSU will need to find a way to circumvent the intensity and advance the ball into the front court to set up the front line. The Kentucky press is susceptable to over the top passing to create mismatches and breakaway situations. It was something Liberty had limited success with but the athletic MSU guards and superior front line height should fare better.

The guards will be the key for MSU in foiling the UK full court pressure attack. Earlier in the season, in a game I got to see in person against Louisville, the Wildcats had a superior tactical advantage in quickness and experience against Louisville's weak backcourt and had a field day in netting points off turnovers. MSU guards Brittany and Jasmine Thomas (no relation) only had four turnovers, created five steals and scored eleven points each in 63 total minutes against Bowling Green. They're a bit more athletic and quicker that the Liberty guards Kentucky faced and the matchup should be a fun and interesting component of the game.

Another factor for Merchant and her team to deal with will be the pro-UK crowd in the Hall. At times, Liberty appeared slightly rattled by the noise level and fervor the UK fan base created from the Freedom Hall seats. The Spartans had a decent turnout for their game against Bowling Green but it is expected that the Big Blue Nation will take advantage of the short drive west to Louisville and pack the stands tonight. Wildcat fans are among the best in the nation at following their teams on the road and women's basketball is no exception. Their numbers should far exceed the Spartan fans in attendance tonight.

We'll have full postgame coverage of tonight's matchup here at CARDINAL COUPLE shortly after the action. Good seats remain for the game.

Written by Paul

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Softball Cards down #15 Texas 3-1

Kristen Wadwell pitched the Cards to a 3-1 win over Texas in the final day of Louisville's west coast swing. Wadwell allowed only three hits in the complete game.

Louisville ended the final game in the Judy Garman classic by defeating the Longhorns behind the pitching mound wizardry of Wadwell and some timely hitting by the rest of the team. The Cards took an early lead in the first inning when Vanessa James doubled and scored when Chelsea Bemis's grounder was mishandled.

They would make the go ahead run in the second from a double by Alicia Wolny that scored James who had reached on a single.

Texas plated a run in the bottom of the third but would score no more against the Cards. Louisville tacked on an additional score in the 6th when a Wolny single drove in Chelsea Jordan.

Louisville went 4-1 during the 4 day stay in California, beating Purdue, Cal State-Northridge, Cal State-Fullerton and Texas and losing to New Mexico 6-5 in 8 innings.

The Cards (19-10) play next on Wednesday with a trip to Bloomington to face the IU Hoosiers.

Written by Sonja

Saturday, March 20, 2010

UK, Michigan State advance in 1st round at Freedom Hall

6'9" Michigan State center Allyssa DeHaan grabbed 11 boards (most of them pretty easily) and added eight points in the Spartans 72-61 win over Bowling Green in the first game on Denny Crum Court this afternoon.

The Michigan State Spartans roared out to an early 8-0 lead against the Bowling Green Falcons and seemed to be able to score anytime they wanted in the paint with Haan and forwards Aisha Jefferson and Lykendra Johnson. In a half that featured several swings in momentum, though, Bowling Green fought back to tie the contest with 15:30 remaining and used a 15-0 run to take a 15-8 lead with 12:13 remaining. Bowling Green negated the Spartans powerful inside game with some spectacular three point shooting and with Tracy Pontius canning four trifectas in the first twenty minutes they battled to a 36-36 tie in the first half. Pontius's twelve points led all scorers and the Falcons went 8-16 from three-point range in the first half. It was clear that Michigan State needed to continue to use their inside advantage in the second half to gain some momentum in this game. They had 18 points in the paint compared to just 2 by Bowling Green.

The Spartans started the second half strong and used a 9-3 early run to lead Bowling Green 45-39 with 15:58 to go. Although Bowling Green would stay close for most of the rest of the final half, they could get no closer that four the rest of the way. Despite Lauren Prochaska's 11 second half points, Bowling Green goes home. Michigan State held Pontius to only 3 second half points and forced the Falcons into 16 turnovers while committing only 10 themselves.

Jefferson (17 pts.) led the Spartans in scoring. Four Michigan State players reached double figures. Suzy Merchant's team scored 22 of their points off turnovers and added 12 2nd chance points. Bowling Green returns Prochaska and Pontius next year and head coachCurt Miller is in an ideal spot to make a nice run with the Falcons again in the 2010-11 season.

By the time the second game between Kentucky and Liberty started, Freedom Hall had turned into a lower arena sea of blue. Liberty came out undaunted, though and scored the first six points of the contest. Using a decided height advantage, the Flames built a 12-4 lead with 16:46 to go in the first half. UK head coach Matthew Mitchell needed a way to spark his team and he found the fire by putting the Wildcats in a full court press. It spurred UK to a 15-1 run and the Cats, led by Adia Mathies and Amani Franklin took a 19-13 advantage with 11:20 to go. Liberty was not done just yet, though, and battled back to lead the Wildcats 28-25 with 3:39 remaining in the first half. A basket plus one by Liberty forward Kylee Beecher gave the Flames a 35-33 edge at the half. 31 of Liberty's first half points came from their tall front line and the Flames held a 24-14 advntage in points in the paint. They outrebounded UK 23-14 in the first twenty minutes but had no answer for Mathies and her 14 points.

Mitchell went back to what worked in the second half and UK defensive pressure allowed them to put together a 7-2 early in the second half and lead 40-37. Liberty fought back to regain the lead 48-45 with 15:03 to go but UK used three point shooting from Keyla Snowden and Mathies to surge past the Flames and led 58-52 with 11:15 left. Liberty would manage to cut the lead to six on a couple of occasions but could stop the explosive show from Mathies and took the loss 83-77.

Mathies was spectaular for the Wildcats this afternoon with 32 points. The Louisville native obviously enjoyed the soft rims in Freedom Hall...going 9-15 from the floor and 12-17 at the charity stripe. Keyla Snowden (15 pts,) and Victoria Dunlap (15 pts.) joined her in double figures. The Cats forced Liberty into 22 turnovers but lost the battle on the boards 38-26 and were outscored in the paint 54-30. They'll need a stronger effort on the boards Monday night to contend with MSU.

From my vantage point on press row, I had the dubious fortune of being right next to the UK pep band. Although quite entertaining with their musical selections, they kept up a constant and somewhat annoying banter directed at the Liberty players. Cheering for your team is one thing and quite acceptable, but personal insults and snide remarks about opposing players' physical apperances and hair styles is going over the edge. A potentially serious off court entanglement by Liberty's Devon Brown with the support behind the basket while going for a loose ball was met with rude comments and laughter. No need for such sophomoric and crass responses.

I guess they were mad that they didn't get to go to New Orleans to watch the UK men's team as members of the main pep band. Or maybe they're just loud-mouth, obnoxious jerks...

The second round game between Kentucky and Michigan State will be played Monday at 7 p.m. in Freedom Hall. Plenty of good seats are still available.

Written by Paul

Friday, March 19, 2010

For the ladies, it all begins Saturday

The late, great pop star indicates how many NCAA Tournament Brackets he filled out last year. Beginning tomorrow, it'll be a "Thriller" for some teams, "Off the Wall" for others and half of the participants will be told to "Beat It."

Louisville hosts the 1st and 2nd rounds ofthe NCAA Women's College Basketball tournament in Freedom Hall Saturday. A lot of us expected that we'd be watching the home team...the Louisville Cardinals..participating in it. Instead, we get the rivals to the east (Kentucky) and Louisville's first round opponent from last year (Liberty) facing off on Denny Crum Court. Warming up the nets for those two in the early game will be Bowling Green and Michigan State.

This is a great time of year if you are a basketball fan. Yesterday tipped off the men's tournament and most of my bracket selections are already scratched thru with the ill advised picks I selected. Notre Dame? Thanks for showing up...time for you to go. UTEP. Don't look now but the Butler did it. Vandy? Loses on a heartbreaking buzzer beater from Murray State.

I love to watch the early rounds and have found that if you go to an establishment to do this you can easily get overcome with sensory overload because there are three games going on at the same time and the action is non-stop.

Saturday is a chance to go out and watch some really good basketball live here locally and I encourage you to go be a part of it, even if the Cards aren't taking part in it. Kentucky is a very talented and fun to watch basketball team. They apply pressure defense, shoot the three very well and should have no trouble with Liberty tomorrow. The early game should be a fight to the wire. Bowling Green will give Michigan State all they want in the paint and just might knock off the Big Ten powerhouse.

How well the local women's basketball fans supplement the attendance of the four schools playing could be a large factor in the decision making of if Louisville will receive additional 1st and 2nd round or other NCAA hostings down the road. A large crowd is needed to give our Lady Cards a chance to play at home in future years in the NCAA.

You can be assured that the UK contingent will be here in force. I've heard MSU fans travel well for their ladies team. What we need tomorrow is a good turnout from the local women's basketball fans. Doesn't matter who you cheer for or what colors you wear, just get out and watch the action.

You may just end up having a good time. CARDINAL COUPLE will be there, covering the action and reporting it back to you if you can't attend.

Written by Paul

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lady Cards fall to Bradley 69-59

Despite Monique Reid's 27 points and 8 rebounds, Louisville couldn't close the gap in the second half and falls to Bradley by 10 in the first round of the WBI Tournament.

A very cold night from the field for the Cards, shooting only 31.4% from the field against Bradley. It took some late game shooting success to get it back to that, Louisville was 7-32 from the field in the first twenty minutes for 21.9% and trailed surprisingly by only 26-17 when they went to the locker room. At times, Louisville looked very slow, passive and almost disinterested in the game. Jeff Walz tried five different guards in infinite combinations to jump start the Cardinal attack but only Reid seemed to be able to put the ball thru the net with much success.

Shooting will get you every time. Reid went 9-16 from the field before she fouled out of the contest with 2:58 to go. The five Cardinal guards that played combined for 7-33 from the court. A dismal 1-17 from three point land. Compare that to the three Bradley guards who went 13-27 and knocked down 6-18 from trifecta range.

Despite all the missed attempts, Louisville managed to rally in the second half from a 43-23 deficit with 13:20 to go and cut the margin to 59-52 after a Becky Burke 3 with 2:44 left. The Cards though, with Reid on the bench, could draw no closer and ends their season with a 14-18 record.

The work ahead for this team before they face Tennessee in the downtown arena eight months from now is considerable. The difference between good basketball players and great ones comes from the work ethic, the conditioning and improvement of skills. Right now, the Cards have one great player in Reid and several good ones. They have a great player in Dez Byrd returning next season and a potentially great one in redshirt Tia Gibbs. It is up to the rest of the returnees and incoming freshmen to turn the corner and pick up their that mid pack teams from mid major conferences don't put ten point pastings on them on their home court.

Jeff Walz has had two very good seasons and Louisville and one he probably wishes he could have a "do over" on. He can coach with the best of them when the talent level is sufficient. It is up to his players to reach that level both physically and emotionally and get Louisville basketball back to where it was his first two seasons. Angel and Candyce aren't coming back thru that door...but a team that has no one near the talent level of several of the Cardinals dominated Louisville tonight in front of 694 fans tonight with hard work, good decisions and team play.

Written by Paul

"Second season" starts tonight for Lady Cards

Start spreading the news. The Lady Cards are playing tonight. The question one must ask is if the competition against St. Patrick's Day events and pre NCAA Tournament excitement limits the number of Lady Cards fans in the stands. This writer hopes it doesn't. (Ol' Blue eyes predicts a double digit UofL win...)

The University of Louisville women's basketball team gets a chance for a small step toward redemption tonight as they begin post season play in the WBI against Bradley tonight in Freedom Hall at 7 p.m. It is said that season ending tournaments are the start of a "second season" for teams. Since the Cards went 1-1 in the Big East Tournament, maybe this is the third season. Regardless, it is a chance for Jeff Walz to continue working with this young and learning Cardinal squad against Bradley and the other 14 participants that make up the WBI.

A check of the tournament entries doesn't reveal any women's basketball powers awaiting Louisville. Indeed, most of the other teams in the WBI must be scratching their heads and wondering how Louisville, the national runner up a year ago in the NCAA Tournament fell so far and so fast. It has been the season from hades for the UofL squad...but the slate is wiped clean, the sheets changed on the bed and the Cards have a chance to string together a four game win streak that might wash a little of the bitter taste off of the Lady Cards basketball taste buds.

A question is how will Louisville rise to the challenge of facing teams that would normally grace the Cards pre-Big East schedule? Teams that would normally take a 20-30 point thumping from the Cardinal teams of yesteryear. But. let's face it. This year's version of Lady Cards basketball wasn't exactly a tricked out street rod drawing ooohs and aaaahs from spectators. Maybe the competition level matches the product? This Cardinal vehicle has been in for more repairs, adjustments and overhauls this season than the '81 Chevette I had the misfortune of being stuck with fresh out of college.

One would hope that Monique Reid's shooting is still intact, Asia Taylor and Keisha Hines still have some motivation to crash the boards and that the long range bombing and defensive skills of Becky Burke haven't headed south for spring break. We also may get to see LaToya Johnson and Nikki Burton return from the I/R list. Both could be key and essential cogs in the Lady Cards machine for 2010-11.

Fans from other schools can tease and sometimes do the "N.I.T." chant when their schools are winning against a rival or opponent that isn't having a stellar season. This is one step below the NIT. A fledgling tournament which merely offers 16 schools a chance to get a few more games in before they begin off season conditioning workouts. Either an affirmation of a season gone less than expected or a chance to put some positive spin on the plans for next year. Call it lipstick on the pig if you want...I'll take the high road here and look at it as a chance to give the home fans at least one more chance to cheer and see the Lady Cards we all love to watch...the winning version. A chance for the coaches and players to set the groundwork and frame for brighter prospect in the future. Still playing, survive and advance. I won't discuss what a loss tonight would serve. Formulate your own negativities on that one. It's the 500 lb. gorilla in the corner I refuse to acknowledge.

We'll see how the Lady Cards react. Top of the mornin' to ya. Happy St. Patty's Day! It's time for the wearing of the green...but let's hope that red and black are the colors celebrated in Freedom Hall tonight.


(You have 24 hours to get your NCAA men's and women's tournament brackets filled out. On the men's side...avoid Sam Houston State and Montana. On the women's side, just write "UConn" 63 times on the sheet.)

If you like, join us in the women's tournament selection contest over at
Our group is Louisville Cardinals and the pass code is: ladycards

Written by Paul

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lady Cards Basketball to face Bradley in First Round of WBI

The University of Louisville women's basketball team will face the Bradley Braves in the first round of the Womens Basketball Invitational Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Freedom Hall. The Cards are the #3 seed in the Invitational. Bradley #6.

Bradley (16-13, 12-6) plays in the Missouri Valley Conference and will be making their first ever appearance in postseason play. They had one common opponent during the regular season...MVC Conference member Northern Iowa...who Louisville defeated in the Caribbean Classic 81-53. UNI defeated the Braves twice in three matchups this year.

The Braves feature a balanced scoring attack with no players averaging in double figures for the season. Katie Yohn (9.9), Raisa Taylor (9.2) and Sonya Harris (8.9)are the three leading scorers for the Braves. Harris grabs 10 rebounds a game and blocked 61 shots during the year.

The Braves lost their last game with a first round loss to UNI 70-50 in the MVC Tournament.

If Louisville wins, they will face the winner of the #2 seeded College of Charleston vs. #7 Morehead State. Higher seeds in the Invitational host the home games, so if C of C wins, the Cards would travel there for second round action. Second round games are scheduled for either Sat. March 20th. or Sun. March 21st. If Morehead State wins, Louisville would most likely host them on the 21st, due to a scheduling conflict with the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Women's Tournament in Freedom Hall on the 20th. and 22nd.

The other twelve teams selected for the WBI:

East Region
#1 Appalachian State vs. #8 Charleston Southern
#4 Towson vs. #5 Fairfield

West Region
#1 Memphis vs. #8 UMKC
#4 Wichita State vs. #5 Akron
#2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. #7 Cal State-Bakersfield
#3 Washington vs. #6 Portland

Looks like a lot of directional and hyphenated schools in the mix.


CARDINAL COUPLE has been approved by the University of Louisville and the NCAA for credentials to cover both the Lady Cards game Wednesday against Bradley and to cover the First and Second round of the NCAA Women's Tournament in Freedom Hall. Pretty exciting stuff!

Let's hope they don't pick on the "rookie" and looks like I'm going to be watching a whole lotta basketball over the next six days...(won't we all be...)

I'll provide you with eyewitness recaps of all the games and thanks to both organizations for letting us serve the readers and fans out there.

Written by Paul

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cards lose in extra innings on final day of Red and Black Classic

With a delayed start to the final day of the Red and Black Classic because of wet weather, Louisville found itself with the unenviable task of facing Michigan again in the second and final day of the Red and Black Classic at Ulmer Stadium. Michigan capatalized on a big 8th inning to take the Cards down 7-3.

The Cards were able to grab a 3-2 lead after three innings when Chelsea Bemis knocked her first home run of the year but Michigan tied it up in the top of the fifth when Angela Findlay swatted a towering homer off the scoreboard.

The Wolverines took the lead in the eighth thanks to a Nikki Nemitz home run blast and the second four bagger of the day from Findlay.

Chelsea Leonard (4-1) took the loss for Louisville. The Cards game against Hofstra was cancelled because of travel plans for the Pride.

Louisville now heads to California for four days of softball action in the Judy Garmen Classic. Among the opponents, #2 Arizona.


Louisville's lacrosse team suffered a late 16-15 loss at Ohio State Saturday. The Cards had a 15-14 lead with a minute left in the contest but the Buckeyes scored twice in the final minute to pull out the win. The road trip continues for Louisville with a March 17th. contest at Vanderbilt.


1st and 2nd rounds of NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament will be held at Freedom Hall on March 20th and 22nd. The teams paricipating in Louisville will be announced tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The Kentucky Wildcats are hoping that they receive a Louisville assignment for the first two rounds and a UK appereance would definitely boost the attendance for the Freedom Hall site.

The Big East could get possibly seven entries in the 64 team event. UConn, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Rutgers and St. John are considered "locks" for the tourney and Marquette and DePaul are on the bubble.

Louisville will participate in the WBI and announcements of first round sites, days and times are also expected Monday night. The Cards are hoping for first round action in Freedom Hall and could play either Weds. or Thurs. if they get the home court advantage. CARDINAL COUPLE will be covering the game in person (if in Louisville) as an official media representative.

CARDINAL COUPLE has applied for media pass coverage for the NCAA Tournament event here in Louisville as well and should receive notification on whether our application has been accepted this week. A special thanks to Louisville women's sports information director Kim Pemberton for providing application information for both events and helpful guidance in accessing the applications.

Written by Paul

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Softball Cards drop two in Red & Black Classic

Brittany York and her University of Louisville softball teammates lost both games of the first day of the Red and Black Classic Saturday at Ulmer Stadium.

Tough afternoon for Sandy Pearsall's squad on the diamond yesterday...falling 2-1 to Hofstra and 9-5 to #5 Michigan.

The Cards began the day against the Pride and fell behind early 2-0 when the Hofstra hitters tallied both runs in the top of the first inning. The Cards got one back in the sixth when Kristen Austin singled and scored on a Vanessa James single but couldn't produce any more runs in the inning or the rest of the game. Kristen Wadwell took the loss for Louisville, allowing 7 hits and striking out 6 in 7 innings of work.

Louisville started out huge against Michigan in the next game, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. Jordan Trimble's three run base clearer in the second inning had the Cards in great shape to win the game, but Michigan roared back with 4 runs in the third and 4 more in the fifth to grab a 8-5 advantage. They would tack on an insurance run the sixth with Nikki Nemitz driving in her fourth RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly. Wadwell (6-5) took the loss in the second game also, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits in 3 innings of relief. Chelsea Leonard started the game for the Cards and went 4 innings...allowing 4 runs.

The Cards take back to the field today, weather permitting, against both Hofstra and Michigan today. Opening pitch against Hofstra is scheduled for 2 p.m. and they face Michigan at 4 p.m.


Congratulation to Louisville's Mercy Academy for winning the 2010 Kentucky Girls High School basketball tournament in Bowling Green Saturday night with a 71-61 win over Scott County in the final game. Mercy battled to a 35-32 lead at halftime but came out with a strong 3rd quarter, outscoring Scott County 20-12 and maintained the lead for the win. Julianne Miller netted 23 points for the Jaguars and Malisa Cruz added 12 points and 14 rebounds to lead Mercy past the Lady Cardinals. Kristin Stainback led Scott County with 26 points in the defeat.

Mercy advanced to the final game with a 53-45 win over Rowan County Saturday morning and Scott County punched their ticket to the final with a 62-59 win over Rockcastle County. The Jaguars took a 24-11 halftime lead over Rowan County in the semifinal and held on for the win. Ellen Sholtes had 22 points for Mercy, including 11-14 from the charity stripe.


Two great horses races yesterday for the top two fillies and mares. Zenyatta roared from dead last in the stretch to win at Santa Anita but Rachel Alexandra could not hold off Zardana in the final furlong at Fairgrounds and finished second by half a length. Zardana, ironically, is the stable mate of Zenyatta and both horses are trained by John Shirreffs and owned by Jerry Moss.

After the race, Rachel Alexandra's trainer Steve Assmussen refused to commit to the highly anticipated match up between his filly and Zenyatta in the April 9th Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park. Assmussen did not expect Rachel to get beat and vowed to be more cautious with her future races, citing a possible lack of training as the reason she lost at the Fairgrounds. The $5 million purse for the Apple Blossom is only guaranteed if both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra run.

Congratulations to my better half Sonja, who correctly predicted that Zardana would top Rachel Alexandra and made a huge score in exacta, trifecta and Pick 3 wagers. She's buying Sunday brunch. For the whole restaurant.

Written by Paul

Saturday, March 13, 2010

McCarty repeats as NCAA Champ

Louisville junior D'Ana McCarty won the NCAA Women's Indoor Weight Throw for the second consecutive year at the NCAA Championship Track and Field events held at the University of Arkansas. McCarty beat her previous record throw by eight inches and dominated the competition in Fayetteville...winning the event by almost 4 feet over the runner up.

McCarty has not been defeated in over two years and has won eighteen consecutive matches in the weight throw. Teammate Jere Summers also competed in the event but fouled on her throws and did not get an official toss in.


Softball goes to the plate at noon today in the first day of the Red and Black Classic at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards will play two games today and two tomorrow, facing Michigan and Hofstra each day.

The Cards go on the road after this weekend's Classic to participate in the Judy Garmen Classic in Fullerton, CA. Arizona, Texas, Purdue, New Mexico, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton are the other teams in the 4 day event. Louisville will play each team once...beginning with Arizona at noon on Thursday, March 18th.


Louisville's Mercy Academy has advanced to the Kentucky Girls High School State Tournament Final Four with a win over Henderson County 71-57. Therese Montano led for Jaguars in double figures with 16 points and nine boards.

The Jags (25-8) get Rowan County (22-8) today at 11 a.m. and would face the winner of the Scott County vs. Rockcastle County game if they can win. Rockcastle County had been dominating in the Houchens Industries/KHSAA girls' Sweet 16...beating Murray 69-36 and Clark County 56-45. Scott County advanced to the Final Four with a exciting 67-66 win over Boone County in overtime. Kristen Stainback drilled a three pointer with 4 seconds remaining to give the Lady Cardinals the boost to Saturday action.


The top two fillies in horse racing take to the track today in preparation for their square off in April. Zenyatta will will face eight competitors in the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita and Rachel Alexandria will get tested by four fillies in the New Orleans Ladies' Stakes at Fairgrounds. They'll face each other for the first time ever on April 9th. in the $5 million Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn. Go get 'em Rachel...we all know that you'll dust today's competition and then top Zenyatta next.

Written by Paul

Friday, March 12, 2010


Louisville women's basketball head coach Jeff Walz announced Thursday night on his weekly coach's show CARDS EYE VIEW that the team will take part in the post season tournament. The teams participating in the 16 team, single elimination tournament will be announced Monday, March 15th. First round action starts Wednesday, March 17th. Louisville is hopeful of securing a first round game at Freedom Hall. This is the first year for the WBI.

The tournament will feature an east coast and west coast bracket format, with the higher seeded teams hosting the home games. Teams that do not participate in the NCAA or WNIT will be elgible for the event.

Walz also expressed hope that junior guard LaToya Johnson and freshman guard Nikki Burton would be available for action in the games. According to Walz, both players have recovered sufficently from their regular season injuries to possibly be cleared by the trainers and doctors to suit up for the Cards.

The aspect of getting as many as four additional games in for this young Louisville squad would be valuable in helping the Cards prepare for the 2010-11 season. Louisville is still able to hold practices and any extra time spent working on fundamentals and skills under coaching supervision will be of great benefit for the team.

Walz has been on the west coast this week scouting and recruiting Portland, Oregon high school senior point guard Shoni Schimmel. Schimmel lists Louisville at the top of the colleges she is considering. She is the highest ranked guard in high school girls basketball that is still uncommitted. The official spring signing period begins April 15th.

The tournament announcement is great news for Lady Cards fans, who still might get another opportunity to see the team play another game in Freedom Hall.


Upsets galore in the first round of the Kentucky Girls High School Basketball Tournament. Favorite Marion County bowed out to Mercy 67-51 on Wednesday. Same for Bowling Green, eliminated Thursday by Boone County 48-44. Butler failed to advance to the 2nd round with a loss to Henderson County 62-54. Other first round results:

Rowan County 47 - Breathitt County 39
Clay County 70 - Anderson County 55
Scott County 65 - Belfry 54
Rockcastle County 69 - Murray 36
Clark County 67 - Ohio County 63

The quarterfinals today match up:

Mercy vs. Henderson County 1 p.m.
Rowan County vs. Clay County 2:30 p.m.
Boone County vs. Scott County 7:30 p.m.
Rockcastle County vs. Clark County 9 p.m.

Written by Sonja

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cards top Cats 3-0 in softball

Kristen Wadwell pitched three innings of shutout relief for Sandy Pearsall's Lady Cards softball team in the win at Lexington Wednesday.

The University of Louisville softball team recorded their 6th straight win over Kentucky softball with a 3 run 8th inning Wednesday in Lexington. Starter Tori Collins for UofL allowed one hit thru 5 innings and Chandra Bell for UK kept the Cards at three hits thru 7 innings in the pitchers duel.

In the top of the eighth, Melissa Roth delivered a solo home run blast with one out to give the Cards a 1-0 advantage. After Chelsea Bemis singled with two outs in the inning, freshman Alicia Wolny crushed her first ever collegiate home run to put the Cards ahead 3-0. Kristen Wadwell retired the Cats in the bottom of the eight to earn the win. She allowed two hits in her relief appearance and she goes to a 5-3 record.

The win for #18 Louisville didn't come easy. Bell was baffling Cardinal hitters for most of the game and stuck out seven Cards batters while allowing only six hits.

The Cards return home to host the Red and Black tournament this weekend. Hofstra and Michigan come to Ulmer Stadium to participate. First pitch is noon Saturday.


#16 Louisville lacrosse returned from Oregon a 13-10 winner over the Ducks and next travels to Ohio State for a 3 p.m. Saturday contest against the Buckeyes. Kellie Young's lacrosse team is in the middle of an eight game road trip that will have them visiting Vandy, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Old Dominion and Longwood before returning back to the 'Ville for a five game home stand in Louisville beginning April 9th.

The Cards (4-0) have outscored their opponents 68-29 so far this year and Oregon is the only team to reach double figures against Louisville. Bergan Foley, a junior fron Huntingdon Valley, PA. leads the Cards with 17 goals this year and Katie Oliverio tops the team with a whopping 13 assists.


Row, row, row your boat and shave, shave, shave your head? Four members of the University of Louisville rowing team will shave their heads Friday night at 6 p.m. at St. Agnes Parish in support of St. Baldrick Day. The event raises money for pediatric cancer support and research.

St. Agnes has a very good fish fry during the Lenten season as well, so stop by for the shaving and have an excellent fish dinner while you are there. If you can't attend, you can also support the cause by going online at and pledging your help. I can personally vouch that the beer is good and cold and the fish piping hot and fresh on Fridays, so get over there and enjoy.

Don't worry...attendance doesn't mean you have to join in on the scalping. I might check and see if they could take a little off the top and trim the sides while I'm there, though. (don't tell my regular barber).

St. Agnes is on Newburg Road...up the hill from Bellarmine University and across from Mulligan's Bar and Grill. Mulligan's (which used to be Kaelin's) is another place I can recommend you visit. They have 25 cent wings and pizza specials during all University of Louisville football and basketball games and a wide selection of beverages. I think they also let Cat fans in there too for televised UK events.

Written by Paul

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cards vs. Cats in softball today

In-state rivals UK and Louisville face off in women's softball today at 5 p.m. in Lexington. Both teams have gotten off to good starts this season and Louisville won the last meeting between the two squads...2-0 last April.

The Cards (14-5) have been led this season by hard-hitting senior catcher Melissa Roth. Her .537 batting average leads the team and she is also now the career leader in doubles for Louisville.

Senior hurler Kristen Wadwell leads a trio of Louisville pitchers that have combined for 138 strikeouts so far this season. That's a lot of slow walks back to the dugout for the opposition...


UConn showed why they are the best in women's college basketball last night with a convincing 28 point win over West Virginia in the finals of the Big East tournament. Leading by only 6 points with 15 minutes remaining in the second half, the Huskies turned up the defensive pressure and held the Mountaineers to just 4 points the remainder of the game.


Trivia question for the day. How many post season tournaments are there for women's basketball teams? Most people will guess two....the NCAA Tournament and the WNIT. You would be wrong, at least this year. A third post season tournament...the WBI (Women's Basketball Invitational) will select 16 teams to compete that aren't playing in the other two events. I don't know anything about the selection qualifications or decision making involved about how teams are invited to participate in this event but it would be great if Louisville were to be considered for it?

My philosophy is this. The Cards drew very well for home games this year. Over 6500 a contest. A tournament might consider that when choosing schools to play. Of course, if you have to have an above .500 record to compete...count the Cards out. We all would love to see the Louisville women play another couple of games this year...that's for sure.


We discussed the disadvantages of high school teams that make the Sweet Sixteen having to play two games on the final day to win the event. I got a nice e-mail yesterday after we ran the article from a former women's high school coach who asked to remain anonyomous but mentioned:

"it is a incredible strain on the players, especially if they played in the second day of first round action. Going Thursday, Friday and then twice on Saturday after battling thru district and regional action to get there is ridiculous and if you don't have a deep roster then you virtually have no chance of surviving that many games. The KHSAA will never change it. The fear being that a Sunday game would draw poorly because the fans would not stay around since Sunday is usually a travel day back to their hometowns with people wanting to get back home to attend church and get ready for the next week."

Pure poppycock. If my favorite high school team made it to the finals, I guarantee I would stick around for the Sunday game and be on the phone getting people to make the drive to Bowling Green to watch. Marion County would be a ghost town if they were in a Sunday final. So would a lot of the towns out in the state...where high school basketball is still a big social event and the town rallies behind the boys and girls teams. I'm sure my priest wouldn't mind if I missed services to cheer on deserving young ladies engaged in competition.

Wake up, KHSAA and think about the health and legs of the players...A five day tournament make sense and would be attended well.

Written by Sonja

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kentucky Girls "Sweet Sixteen" should be far from boring

Hopefully, the bleachers down in the Diddle...or is it Houchens?.....whatever they're calling the WKU gym these days will be a little more packed than the bleachers are in the picture here. Why the KHSAA is playing this thing in Bowling Green instead of Louisville, Lexington or even Covington is beyond me. And don't go into the old rant about attendance. Chances are they'd pack more into Memorial, Rupp, Freedom Hall or even Louisville Gardens. Another Wood Selig conspiracy at work here?

It all kicks off Wednesday at 1 p.m. with a game between 6th region champ Butler playing 2nd region winners Henderson County. Top ranked Marion County and dangerous Louisville Mercy square off in the 2:30 p.m. contest. After that, the rest of the state joins in and battles it out over the next four days to see who will advance to the 9 p.m. final game. Both Louisville area teams are in the same bracket and could meet in the 2nd round of action if they can get by their opening opponents.

I know it is tradition and been done for years...but do they really need to play both the semifinals and finals on the same day? How would women's college basketball react if...let's say UConn and Stanford squared off at 11 a.m., followed by Nebraska and Tennessee at 1:30 p.m., then the winners were brought back out for a 9 p.m. contest the same night? Imagine the howling and outrage on the men's side if Kentucky or Kansas had only 7 hours rest before they had to go up against the winner of the Duke vs. Louisville game? Could a Sunday 5 p.m. tipoff work here? I think it could...

(Please note that I am not giving you my early Final Four picks for the NCAA Men's and Women's Tournaments above. Just throwing out some names. The teams listed above would be some great matchups, though.)

Nevertheless, the "greatest show in hoops" begins in about 24 hours. Good luck to all the participants and let's hope the fans fill the stands for what will surely be some excellent matchups and hard fought contests. My prediction for the final game? Bowling Green has done little wrong in compling a 28-2 record this year and stands a decent chance of getting to the final game. If Marion County can get past the Mercy Jaguars and then whip either Butler or Henderson County on Friday...they should meet up with Bowling Green in the final. Marion County hasn't lost to a Kentucky opponent all year and it could be the start of a high school dynasty if they take the title home to Lebanon. Youth being served, I see them as the team to beat and predict they'll cut down the nets late Saturday night.

I used to attend the majority of the Sweet Sixteen women's tournaments whenthe were held in Louisville. I won't be able to get to Bowling Green to cover this year's action, but we'll monitor it from Cardinal Couple Central and provide you with updates. Even if Assumption and Christian Academy aren't playing this year...


Jumping over to the Big East Women's tourney...Notre Dame actually gave UConn a scare last night before the Huskies regrouped in the second half and won by 15. Ugly moment with less than a minute to go when UConn guard Caroline Doty received a brutal elbow to the face...unintentional... from Notre Dame's Devereaux Peters while the players were battling for a loose ball. Action was stopped for five minutes while the trainers and doctors checked the prone Doty. In the nightcap of the semis, WVU withstood an early battle with Rutgers and advanced to the 7 p.m. final tonight.

Doty's status for tonight's game is up in the air but it probably won't matter for the Huskies if she plays or not. As long as Geno has Tina Charles and Maya Moore on the court, he could fill out the rest of the lineup with me, Meryl Streep and Sally Field and win by double digits.

(Sally's got a wicked her. She didn't get the monicker "the Flying Nun" by mistake. Now that she's on a monthy dosage of Boniva...may not get by the strict NCAA substance guidelines...but shouldn't they be testing John Wall and Thuggins Cousins first?)

Written by Sonja

Monday, March 8, 2010

Softball Cards suffer 1-3 record in Oklahoma trip

In what amounted to a mini-tour of the Sooner state, Sandy Pearsall's UofL women's softball team visited three cities in three days and took three losses with but one win in softball action this weekend.

The #15 Cards began the junket with a Friday game in Stillwater against Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma State. In the game early, Louisville eventually fell prey to the big bats swung by the Cowgirls and dropped a 7-2 decision.

Saturday saw a switch to action in Oklahoma City. Louisville began the day in fine fashion with a 5-3 win Nevada...but dropped the nightcap to #8 Oklahoma 10-2.

Sunday brought the Cards to Norman for an afternoon rematch with the Sooners. The Cards fell behind early and couldn't cross the plate against Oklahoma...losing 7-0.

Louisville (14-5) returns home for a couple days before heading to Lexington Wednesday for a 5 p.m. faceoff against the UK Wildcats. The Cats (14-5) recently beat Liberty in the final game of the Buzz Classic in Marietta, GA. UK went 4-1 in the tournament and will begin SEC play on Saturday against Georgia after the Louisville game.


Without meaning to turn into a UK fan site, we'll make mention that the Lady basketball Kats lost in the SEC tournament final Sunday to Tennessee. They Cats hung around for a long time in the game and Victoria Dunlap, the undersized center for Matthew Mitchell's squad showed her award winning skills in defeat to Pat Summit's group. Dunlap was selected as the SEC Player of the Year and Mitchell received Coach of the Year honors. Louisville native Adia Mathies was selected for the SEC All-Freshman team. They're a shoo-in for the NCAA tournament and Mitchell has done a credible job getting women's basketball back in the spotlight for UK in three years.


Interesting sidelight on UT coach Pat Summit. After her second season at Tennessee, Pat was very interested in accepting the women's head coaching job at Kentucky. After meeting with the UK folks, she was ready to make the move to Lexington but insisted that UK pay for her estimated moving expenses...a total around $200.

UK refused to front the money or even reimburse any such expenses, Pat stayed at UT and the rest they say...history.

Written by Paul

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Notre Dame knocks Lady Cards out of Big East Tourney 89-52

Monique Reid's 23 points and 13 rebounds not enough as the Lady Cards fall to the Irish 89-52.

The game at least started out on a positive note. Louisville led early 6-5 and as we made preparations to go see the final men's game in Freedom Hall and listened on the radio. Notre Dame, though, had no such notions of getting involved in a close one with Louisville. They went on a 10-0 run to take a 15-6 lead.

By the time we pulled into the incredibly jammed Freedom Hall parking lot around 12:45, that lead had grown to 38-16 at halftime and there was no need to hang around in the car and listen to the second half. (The atmosphere yesterday in the Hall was amazing and I don't think I could provide a better report on the men's win over Syracuse yesterday than the ones out there. Make sure and click on the link on our site and read Charlie Springer's recap at

-The usual culprits combined to send the Cards home. Pressure defense, forcing Louisville into 15 first half turnovers and 23 for the game and the Cards simply refusing to hustle, get back and stop the transition game. If I had taken a drink every time announcer Jim Kelch mouthed the word "layup" for Notre Dame in the first half...Paul would have had to sling me over his shoulder and carry me into Freedom Hall for the men's game.

Louisville shot 37% for the game and only 29% in the first half. Notre Dame scored at will on the Cards in both halves and ended up at 59% for the contest.

-Asia Taylor joined Reid in double figures with 11 points but only 1 rebound in 22 minutes of action. The Irish out rebounded the Cards by 10 for the game.

-The Irish had 15 steals against the Cards..many key ones when they put together three runs of 9-0 or better to make this one a non factor after twenty minutes.

Notre Dame advances to play #4 St. John on noon Sunday. They are looking for a bit of payback after a loss at St. John late in the regular season gave the Red Storm the #4 seed and forced the Irish to have to play 4 games in 4 days. The winner draws UConn on Monday.

The season ends for the Cards...a season full of injuries, suspensions, controversy and disappointment. The future looks brighter for Walz's crew but dedication to off season work and conditioning will eventually determine just how far the Lady Cards will be able to climb back up the ladder in 2010-11.

Jeff Walz promises " a changed, improved and a hard working team" for Lady Cards basketball next season. Ultimately, the end, it will be up to the returning players and the incomong freshmen to carve out the next slice of Cardinal Basketball history.

In other second round action...(and, yes I did go 4-4 in predictions):

#9 seed Syracuse becomes the only team that played on the first day to advance to the quarterfinals with a hard fought win over #8 seed Providence 76-71. They get UConn today for their efforts. No doubt that UConn rolls (yawn...) in one that probably won't be close.

#6 Rutgers romped #14 Cincinnati 70-44 and moves on to play #3 Georgetown. This matchup has the potential to be a tough, physical fight in tennis shoes. Both teams don't back down or give an inch. Too close to call in this one, but I'll go with the Hoyas with the fresher legs.

#7 DePaul sent #10 Marquette back to Milwaukee 64-54. The Blue Demons advance to face #2 WVU today. I do expect DePaul to give the "Eers" a battle but will probably fall short.

Written by Sonja